This Latvian group debuted several years ago with just-a-decent EP, “Daylight Owls”, then took some time to rethink their existence. It resulted in a full-length purely instrumental post-rock and post-metal hybrid “Mitau”. A very cinematographic album where a lot of effort was spent to give each song its own narrative and develop a set of stories with pacing worth of a Hitchcockian thriller.
Baltic Trail is a festival run by producers, musicians and activists from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. All music on this post-gathering compilation was produced during collaboration sessions of 17 producers and singers from the three countries. A colourful collection of anything from minimal electronic to hip-hop, it showcases the variety of Baltics’ music offer.
Dirty Deal Audio is a Latvian label focused, generally speaking, on beats of all kinds. Every year they release a compilation album with what they consider the best local music released over the last months. And it’s a great introduction into the modern Latvian music scene.
When Future Folk Orchestra appeared on a Sofar Sounds session in Riga, it was the discovery of the evening. Similarly, the seven piece band’s new album “Antarktīda kūst” (Antarctica Is Melting) is one of the biggest surprises of 2014.
Mixing influences not only from around Europe, but also from Asia and Africa, the group updates traditional music(s) into one kaleidoscopic experience.
“Iekams” is a journey inwards, where Instrumenti made an abstraction of what they were before, started from the beginning again and completely reinvented themselves. It is a reflective album that perfectly suits winter, yet breaks the ice and goes into the bloodstream of time to our very roots. Wonderfully arranged, “Iekams” takes you upon a journey through time and space.
23-year-old producer from Riga, Mr. Myster impressed the Baltics’ club scene recently with his new EP, “Kolektiv Sub-konchez”. An impressive mix of modern r’n’b/techno/electronica constantly being chopped up and glued back, it should keep your mind busy while the body interprets the music in its own way.
Niklāvs Sekačs aka NiklāvZ is a young and promising beatmaker and producer, living and working in Liepāja. Being part of Dirty Deal Audio crew, Niklāvz made a lot of progression last year, playing on Primavera Sounds. The feeling arises you will hear a lot more about him in the upcoming year, both in and outside Latvia.
On his second EP, Jānis ‘Pikaso’ Lipšāns brings in such universality to his hip-hop that you should quickly forget that you don’t understand a word from his (thoughtful) lyrics. For Latvia, Pikaso represents a new road he’ll hopefully keep on following on his future full-lengths.
Even though The Big Bluff is just a duo in its core, the raw rock ’n roll from their self-titled album will blow you away with its sheer energy. Having organised one of the best album presentations in 2014, Ilya Krumins and Matisse Tazans definitely deserve a spot in this list.
The Coco’nuts blends funk, swing, blues, rock and indie together in one tasty musical mix. They released their debut EP in 2014, which is an “Appetizer” for more. One of Latvia’s most unique bands, their sound and energy only grows when they appear on stage.